It's easy for children to become afraid of visiting the dentist. Not can it be a scary and unpleasant experience, but not all dentists are specialized in working with children. If you're tired of every trip to the dentist being a fight, here are some tips to follow.
1. Don't Use the Dentist as a Threat
Most children start being afraid of the dentist because the dentist is used as a threat—"Brush your teeth or you'll have to go to the dentist!" Stop using the dentist as a threat, and children will often stop perceiving the dentist as a negative. Consider saying instead, "You get to go to the dentist to get a whiter smile!"
2. Find a Good Family Dentist
Not all dentists are made equal. You need to find a dentist who works well for your family. Call dentists and ask whether they specialize in children and what methods they use. If your child doesn't like a particular dentist, consider shopping around.
3. Keep Them Distracted
It's a world of screens, and parents may as well take advantage of it. Bring ear buds and a phone so your child can listen to their favorite music or watch their favorite shows. If you can, you may want to find a dentist who has a television set up in their dental room. The distraction will keep your child's mind off of the process.
4. Bring Something Comforting
For younger children, bringing a stuffed animal or a blanket can improve comfort. Small children may feel as though they are in a comforting, relaxing atmosphere as long as they have something familiar with them.
5. Don't Act Afraid
Children pick up a lot of their emotions from adults. If you're acting nervous and afraid (even if it's just about the bill!), your child may start to feel nervous and afraid as well. Try your best to remain positive.
6. Keep Up the Maintenance
One of the best ways to keep your kid unafraid is to make sure they don't need to get a lot of painful work done. By ensuring that your children regularly brush and floss, you can cut down on the more unpleasant dental emergencies.
It is possible for children to develop a real phobia for the dentist. If that happens, you may want to consider asking their physician about your options. Overall, however, the above tips should help your child have a pleasant dentist experience. For additional advice, contact a family dentist, like William U Britton DDS MAGD.